Silversea’s latest luxury ship, Silver Moon, has been christened in Athens in what bosses have called a symbol of “the rebirth of cruising” and of the sector’s “strength and resilience”.
The 596-passenger ship is the ninth in the fleet and the second Muse-class vessel, featuring larger public spaces and new dining options compared with its sister ship.
It is also the first time the line’s new Salt (Sea and Land Taste) programme has been introduced on board, offering daily-changing menus in restaurant Salt Kitchen, and interactive cooking and tasting experiences in the Salt Lab and Salt Bar.
Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive of parent company Royal Caribbean Group, said: “This is, in our case, the first new naming of a ship since the pandemic started, and it serves as a great symbol that cruise has returned for the travelling public.
“Today it takes on a particular significance – it symbolises not only the birth of a new vessel but the rebirth of cruising as a tourism destination. We can see the world is opening up and cruising is leading the way.”
Fain added that the company’s goal had been to make cruise ships a safer environment compared with land-based alternatives, and that they had achieved that aim.
He said: “We really have re-established credibility and trust in cruise travel and cruise safety.
“The image of the industry 17 months ago was very much tarnished by incidents that happened then, so we needed to go from being an example of what could go wrong to establish what could go right.”
Roberto Martinoli, president and chief executive of Silversea Cruises, said: “This delivery was meant to happen almost at the beginning of the pandemic, but here we are eventually.
“To see guests on board is a wonderful feeling.
“Today, we are christening her as a symbol of our industry’s strength and resilience. We are very grateful to our travel partners for their efforts in supporting our guests to be with us.”
Silver Moon was the line’s first ship to return to service on June 18, followed by Silver Origin in the Galapagos and Silver Muse in Alaska. Silver Shadow will also embark on a series of Iceland sailings from Reykjavik starting today [Thursday], followed by Silver Spirit sailing from the UK in September, and three expedition vessels in Antarctica including the refurbished Silver Wind.
Martinoli confirmed the line’s “aggressive” growth plans with “many more ships to come”.
He added: “We are also working on our new Evolution class, having the opportunity to start with a blank sheet of paper.
“There will be a revolutionary announcement that will come at the end of summer. We are really doing things that have never been seen.”
Silver Moon was built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy and comes in at 40,700 gross tons, with a 411-strong crew. It was christened by godmother Gaia Gaja from the Italian Gaja Winery at a ceremony in Piraeus (Athens) on July 28.